So today was Fahim’s day off. Fahim’s mom, back in January, gave me the material for two shalwaars – one pink, one purple. But she explicitly stated that she didn’t want me stitching it – she wanted it done properly.
See, the original shalwaar kit that Fahim and I got back in, what, October or November, had insufficient material to make it long enough. Then my second shalwaar, which I bought material for (not a kit) also wasn’t quite long enough – I didn’t know how long it was "supposed" to be. So Fahim’s mom is possibly convinced that I don’t know how long it’s supposed to be.
Well, in all fairness, I know now because she’s told me and I’ve started paying attention to the other shalwaars I see around.
In all fairness to Fahim’s mom, Fahim tells me her memory isn’t the greatest – albeit better than mine – so she probably forgot that I was shortchanged on material for the first one.
Anyway, she originally wanted me to go to Hameedia‘s, but they either don’t stitch shalwaars, or they don’t stitch outside fabric. Either way, that was a no-go.
So instead, we headed to Rasi Silk, which is a small shop crammed with tonnes of saris and shalwaars, both ready-made and sew-it-yourself kits. Fahim’s mom had apparently called, and they said they could do it, but when we got there, they take one look at me, hear what Fahim’s mom has to say, and immediately say that they can’t sew from measurements – they must have a shalwaar to copy from. I’m all ready to sew it myself, and say as much to Fahim.
I didn’t understand most of what was said – it was in Sinhalese – but I take it that Fahim’s mom didn’t like the woman and what was said. After we leave, as we’re walking down the street heading for the van, Fahim asks me if I could sew it myself. Of course. He relays that to his mom – I gather she’s asked if I could do it, and we’re pretty much reconciled to me sewing it instead of having someone else do it. I’m perfectly fine with that, and would have been fine with not trying out a seamstress in the first place. I trust my sewing skills, but those of seamstresses here – well, let’s just say that there is a fairly wide variance in quality and if you don’t know the seamstress, you have no idea what you’ll end up getting.
We ended up turning around and heading into another store, where Fahim’s mom asked about tailors in the area. We then headed to yet another store – again, another fabric, sari, and shalwaar shop. Turns out they have a woman who can sew from measurements. She took a look at the fabric I had and discussions ensued.
I also ended up looking at more shalwaar kits.
In the first shop, I asked – through Fahim – if the purple one we had was suitable for the wedding. Was it ornate enough?
Oh, and to go along with that, there are two days where there are wedding related events. One is a dinner and the wedding ceremony itself, which is taking place at a hall with 400 to 500 guests, and the other is a smaller dinner two days later. I need suitable clothing for both.
Fahim’s idea was that the purple one would be suitable for the fancier, more important day, and the pink one would be suitable for the other. I disagree. A cotton pink and aqua fun print at a wedding function? No. Any female over the age of 15 with any amount of fashion sense would back me up.
Anyway, so the question went through to Fahim’s mom, and Fahim thinks that Fahim’s mom now thinks that I want something more ornate, whereas I was asking if what I had was fancy enough. But rather than having an hour long conversation to sort out the questions, and because I saw a very nice silk shalwaar kit that I fell in love with that definitely was ornate enough, we opted to get me an additional shalwaar. 😀 Score!
The new one is turquoise color with a lot of beading on it. After it’s done and at home, I’ll take a pic of it. It was Rs.3200, or around $32 US. Expensive for here. It’s a cotton-silk mixture – I had no idea that silk and cotton were blended into fabrics. But when I feel it, yeah, it feels like it is, so I believe the shop people.
Anyway, measurements. The seamstress who took my measurements did it in an interesting way, and I’m really not at all sure that it’s going to turn out okay. She measured above my bust under the armpits, and under my bust around the rib cage, but not around the bust itself. I find that very odd, especially since there’s a fairly significant size differential between them and my actual bust. As well, she measured my abdomen, but not my hips.
Is it going to turn out? Or is it going to be so tight that it’ll be unwearable unless I lose 50 pounds? I have no idea.
The good thing, though, is that we gave instructions for her to sew one only starting with the cotton one (also the least expensive), then have me try it on, and proceed from there. If she totally butchers it, then we’ve only lost one.
Yep, I’m a little concerned. 🙂